If you are considering a personal injury lawsuit, you may be wondering what your case is really worth. The answer comes down to "damages"-what your injuries have cost you financially, physically, and mentally. At Nugent Law Firm, our South Jersey personal injury lawyers are dedicated to aggressively pursuing the interests of our clients in all types of personal injury lawsuits over a car accident, slip and fall, or any other kind of injury.
In a personal injury case, monetary damages are paid to the injured person (the plaintiff) by the person or company who is found legally at fault for the accident (the defendant or their insurer). Below are explanations of the types of damages that are common in personal injury cases.
The majority of personal injury damages fall under the category of "compensatory," meaning they are intended to compensate for what was lost as a result of the accident or injury. This means trying to put a price on the consequences of the accident. Putting a dollar figure on things like property damage and medical bills is easy, but how do you quantify the inability to enjoy hobbies, or pain and suffering because of physical injuries caused by the accident?
Different types of compensatory damages include:
- Medical treatment
- Property loss
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
Punitive damages are awarded (in addition to compensatory damages) in cases where the defendant's conduct was particularly egregious or outrageously careless. Punitive damages are much different than compensatory damages, which attempt to "make someone whole again" from a monetary standpoint. But rather, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for their negligence or intentions, to act as a deterrent.
The plaintiff's own negligence or intent can also negatively affect their compensation. An injured person's role in causing an accident can diminish the amount of their damages award.